You rarely see an NBA team looking to unload three of their best players but in the case of the Atlanta Hawks, that might be exactly what they end up doing with Kent Bazemore, Ersan Ilyasova and Marco Belinelli. Atlanta currently sits at the bottom of the NBA standings after a loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday night and it all but cemented their standing atop the 2018 NBA Draft Lottery.
Atlanta elected to undergo a rebuild when Travis Schlenk took over as general manager following the removal of Mike Budenholzer from his as the chief decision maker for the team. The Hawks have seen their franchise slowly depart from their 60 win team in 2015 as All-Star after All-Star left the organization.
With a top spot in the lottery on the horizon, Atlanta is looking to secure more assets for three veterans to all but secure their spot atop the NBA draft.
Following comes from Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
Teams are targeting the availability of Brooklyn’s DeMarre Carroll, Utah’s Alec Burks, Orlando’s Evan Fournier and Atlanta’s Kent Bazemore, among others.
Atlanta is pushing to unload veterans and gather more draft picks and young players. Bazemore, Ersan Ilyasova and Marco Belinelli are expendable.
Kent Bazemore is undoubtedly the best player out of the trio but he also could be the hardest to trade. He has three years remaining on his deal worth an average of $17.5 million going forward and a player option in the last year which he will most likely exercise. Bazmore provides a great locker room atmosphere and solid play as a ‘three-and-d’ wingman but teams will definitely question his value at that price.
Belinelli at $6.6 million and Ilyasova at $6 million will be much easier to trade in the final year of their deal but it’s unclear what they might fetch given they’re both over 30 and at most would be role players in a rotation for a playoff team. It will be interesting to see if the Hawks could rangle a first round pick from a desperate team for any of these players.